Jeremy Berg Is The Shizznitt!!11!!

In response to my request on his previous post plotting impact score versus percentile for hundreds of R01 grants asigned to NIGMS, Jeremy has now posted a similar scatterplot of grants considered in the January 2010 Council with the dots color coded to indicate whether they were funded:

In case you are feeling sorry for the poor fucks with outstanding percentile who didn't get funded, Jeremy points out the following:

Notice that there is a small number of applications with percentile scores better than the 20th percentile for which awards have not been made. Most of these correspond to new (Type 1, not competing renewal) applications that are subject to the NIGMS Council’s funding decision guidelines for well-funded laboratories.

7 responses so far

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Ha! I can't believe he posted that! Time to step up, the rest of y'all ICs.

  • Eskimo says:

    Yes, the contrast between the volumes of data coming from NIGMS on this topic and the other institutes is striking.

  • physioprof says:

    I commented over on Jeremy's blog that he should put the fucken screws to his colleagues at other ICs to steppe the fucke uppe!

  • I didn't know about this issue with new submissions in "well-funded" laboratories before. Not sure that I dig it. Basically forces the "rich" profs to renew the fuck out of their older grants without being able to submit anything new. What happens if a "well-funded" lab wants to cross over from studying birds to studying lollipops.

  • Dr. Berg is completely awesome not only for posting this data but for his long-time recognition that the DrugMonkey blog is a superb venue on which to engage grantees. It's this kind of vision that makes me very proud to have NIGMS support.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Seriously Candid? You can't grasp what the point is here?

    There are two factors. One, despite the claim that NIH is project-based (funding proposal by 5 yr proposal), there is a substantial recognition that long term productivity for the overall mission requires something in the more program-based (i.e., continuation of the same laboratory working more or less on the same stuff) nature. So when the budget really hit the skids and people were starting to moan about closing their labs, Program was motivated to share the wealth. This was the recognition that yes, maybe the labs would shrink (much pain for techs and trainees) and stall a bit (retrench to existing work instead of continuing to expand) but they would still live to fight another day (if the budget ever came back) thereby maintaining intellectual diversity (like it or not a single lab is going to have less diversity, no matter how big it is).

    Now personally, I might disagree with this because I suspect they were going to save their long-term buddies at the expense of new investigators and even mid-career folks. I don't know that my program will *ever* be one that a sympathetic set of PO staff want to save at the expense of other people's new sixth R01. But I do understand what they are trying to do with this and it is not an entirely bad thing for them to be doing.

    Second issue was the perennial one of giving an opportunity for new investigators to launch their programs. This is, or should be, a balancing of short term (next 5-10 yrs) vs long term (three to four decade career of a n00b) investment. I'm totally down with that. I'd sacrifice big-lab's 5th or 6th R01 to give a n00b a chance just about every time.

    I should point out two other considerations. The majority of the time I've been a PI we have been under the gun of budget reductions as a matter of course. That means you propose full modular ($250,000 in direct costs) and you have to *expect* to only get $225K, maybe $200K right out of the gate. You might even get nicked another halfmodule in year 2 or 3 because of Congressional shenanigans. IME, this is hard to get restored and you have to live with the reduction for the rest of the award interval. This is the same principle, just expressed more democratically.

    Second consideration is that despite general threats from Program and specific comments to some of my big swinging dick peers from POs, I've yet to know anyone who actually got a great percentile new proposal denied on the too-rich thing. Obviously it happens (see NIGMS dataset), but the worry / threats seem to outstrip the reality.

  • […] I’m working my way through it, and will likely review it in pieces over the next week. Berg is well regarded in some circles that I  respect. Kienholz edits a blog I follow, and you should too, called […]